Spring Grove residents who live just outside the village have appeared at the last two meetings of the McHenry County Board seeking help in stopping a Thelen Sand & Gravel plan to dig up to the edge of their homes.
Here is what Drew Knobloch told County Board members in the three minutes he was allocated:
“First, I want to thank all the board members who reached out to me since I made the public comment last month.
Thank you for emailing us, for talking and meeting with us, for attending meetings with us, for helping us organize, for reaching out to various other officials on our behalf and all of the other things you’ve done to support the residents in this fight.
“Since I was here last month we had a combined community meeting for everyone who lives within 3/4 of a mile of these proposed mines.
“One two-day notice on a weekday evening there were over 225 people in attendance.
“We circulated the attached petition urging our governmental leaders to limit the expansion of gravel mining in residential areas. We formed a Facebook group which has over 350 members.
“We are attending Fox Lake village meetings and Spring Grove village meetings; we’ve attended the McHenry County Gravel Advisory Council and we’re attending the McHenry County Board meetings.
“A small fraction of us made the trip here and many others are covering the Spring Grove Village meeting which was also tonight.
“Could everyone who lives near the proposed mines or is here supporting us please stand so the board can get an idea of how many we are.
“At the Gravel Advisory meeting we learned that the county makes next to nothing from these gravel operations.
“The county gets a small amount of property tax revenue from these parcels.
“It’s a fraction of what the same sized residential property would pay.
“The county gets a minuscule amount of sales tax revenue from the retail sales made by these gravel operations. over 90% of their sales are to other businesses where no sales tax revenue is collected.
“The county gets no severance tax – a per pound tax for severing the material from the ground.
“Once the material is severed the ground is ruined for residential development until there is a municipal sewer system so the property tax basis for that land is destroyed for decades.
“Meanwhile the residents bear the vast majority of the burden for repairing the roads that the gravel trucks are destroying.
“The current Spring Grove mine is already a year behind because of lagging demand for material and no place to store it.
“WHY are we so eager to open more mines and subject even more residents to years of noise, debris, and eroded property values???
“So here’s the thing, we need your help urgently to get these projects stopped.
“For those of you who haven’t been involved yet, we still need you.
“Please stand up for these residents who voted for you and work to create a sensible balance between the unfettered expansion of gravel mines and the needs of residents for a peaceful, healthy life and the retention of our property values.
“Gravel is the pits! and no one wants to live next to the pit.”
The group’s Facebook and GoFundMe links are below
Tomorrow you will be able to read the comments made in September.